What is the difference between a customer being present or absent during an estimate?

I always do on-site estimates. Of all the estimates I’ve done when the customer was home, I’ve been able to close about 90%. The ones I’ve done where the customer was not home and I would leave the estimate at their door, they would either never call me back or call and decide not to use my services. Most of the time it is because they think my prices are too high, but I’m average for my area. Anyone else notice this trend in their area?

Somewhat. What was your follow up method for the ones you left on the door?

My theory is that there is some hesitation in committing from the start (when they request the estimate). Typically, when people call us asking for a quote, they’ve pretty much already decided to use us for the job. If they are price shopping, though, it seems that they avoid direct interaction, such as being absent for an on-site quote, or letting the call go to voicemail if I call with the price. I have no concrete proof that this is the case, but it seems to make sense.

This shows the beauty of booking over the phone. Book them when they are at there most eager to use your service.

I find out where they got my details first.

Usually it’s a recommendation, so i find out from whom.

I then ask if there is a particular reason they want their window cleansed, such as a party/wedding/people staying.

From this i can then relate to their worries about getting it done on time, showing them they can trust me like their friend does who recommended me - this all helps.

I dont usually do estimates without them being present…I [prefer the personal interaction - as you say, they are less likely to take up a more expensive option if you aren’t there to win them over.

You can usually tell tyre kickers, you just get feelings about them when they call as they tend to be rather offish with giving any details.

this is a good question. as i think about it, my experience is similar to yours. i’m much better at closing in person than over the phone or as follow-up. in the past, i’ve been forced to do quotes whenever i could get there, often not making personal contact. i’ve been focusing lately on freeing up time to make appointments with people for proposals. it’s been significantly better that way.

I agree with ChrisG. When it’s a referral, they almost always book, and they almost never shop the price.

But to the original topic, I have also found that the customer is more likely to book if I meet them when I bid it. I am a clean-cut, well-spoken guy, and I know that the same cannot be said for all of the other window cleaners in my area. So I’m sure that they are more comfortable booking after they meet me.

I would follow up by calling back the ones who did not return calls. I also tried booking over the phone only to have them call back and cancel before their cleaning. I’m thinking about making it a requirement for them to be home when I come out to do the estimate, because the price of gas and cost of living is so high out here that if I build anymore into my price I would be too high to get any customers, and I can’t afford to keep burning fuel for someone who is curious about price but not serious about using my services.